As regular readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of aviation. It is part of my family’s experiential DNA, and what helped develop my families ties to Hawaii.
In fact, recently during my father’s funeral, many who worked in that field came out and helped my family say goodbye to him, a person who became seeped in the industry after his service in World War II. I grew up around planes, both those in the hangar and having them transport my family to far off places – London, Bangkok, Rome, New York, Warsaw – the list is expansive.
So, when I go out on my apartment balcony at night and see nothing but sky with no planes flying around for hours at a time, it is an unfamiliar sound. Yes, we all lived through 9/11, but that ban of flights was only for 4 days.
This scale down of flights to the islands could last months, if not longer.
Part of the reason is due to the proclamations that force anyone coming to the islands to self-isolate for 14 days. As a traveler-at-heart, the last thing I want to do is spend gobs of money going to a place only to spend even more gobs of money to do absolutely nothing before being allowed out to do anything.
And be limited in spending even more gobs of money because everything that is worth seeing, is closed.
The fact that our skies are cleared, airplanes are being lined up on inactive runways that typically are flying all over the place, and limitations so severe to travel even interisland also leaves me with the feeling that no matter what, we in Hawaii are stranded.
But it’s the quietness that I notice the most. And unlike before, it will be a while before the roar of jet engines fill our sky with noise and planes become, once again, a typical site over East Honolulu. It is hoped, though that there are enough people with a vagabond spirit who, once things are back to normal (somewhat) that will want to buy a ticket and start travelling again. Because if we lose that spirit, this virus is indeed killing more than just people.